Tall, stylish and elegant, the LG GBB530NSCFE is over two metres tall and comes in the upper range of price bands for a 60cm wide fridge freezer. This is a premium appliance and packs in premium features, sumptuous looks, superb build quality and a high-tech energy saving inverter motor with a 10-year guarantee.
Split with a bias in storage space towards the chiller cabinet, this is an appliance that will suit a busy family that often cooks from fresh rather than frozen ingredients. It claims to be ultra-quiet, ultra efficient and offers cutting edge technology such as the LG Smart Diagnosis feature. In the event of an operational problem you call up LG's service centre, hold your phone to the Smart diagnosis sensor, and await a diagnosis of the problem. Overall, it’s a very good fridge freezer, though similar size and price fridge freezers offer more fridge and freezer space at the same price.
There is nothing traditional looking about this fridge freezer. Its smooth design and sleek stainless steel finish are chic and contemporary. The handles pivot forward slightly as you pull on them, serving to break the suction seal on the door. This makes door opening pretty effortless, even when you have only just shut them and they suck closed for a few seconds. The interior is smart and functional in both compartments and the whole design is well thought out and practical.
The tall door has allowed LG to raise the traditional milk bottle pocket higher up the door, allowing space for a frankly vast vegetable drawer at the bottom. This bottom drawer is called a fresh “0” Zone, offering variable temperature control depending on the food stored. LG recommends -1 degrees for meat up to 2 degrees for vegetables. The LG’s second drawer is its Moist Balance Crisper drawer, ideal for storing fruit and veggies as it reduces moisture in the drawer that could otherwise make your lettuces go floppy.
Of note, all of the fridge and freezer temperature controls are on the ‘roof’ of the fridge compartment, which is approaching two metres high. This means those of a vertically challenged disposition will be stretching up or grabbing a stool to tweak their temperatures.
With a whopping 252 litres of fridge space and 91 litres of freezer capacity there is ample space for a large household, notably biased towards chilling fresh produce. The fridge adds one fixed and three adjustable easy-clean glass shelves to its two capacious drawers and four larger door pockets for bottles and jars etc.
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The freezer, despite getting a smaller portion of the available space, is still a big beast and has multi air-flow cooling to ensure a swift and even freeze throughout. The three drawers are wide and very deep and can be easily pulled completely free of the freezer compartment if you require a more comprehensive rummage. As is usual for 60cm upright fridge freezers, the bottom drawer suffers a reduction in capacity to allow for the compressor on the back although the total capacity is quoted at 91litres, which is still a lot of frozen food.
As befits a premium refrigerator with a modern linear compressor motor, the LG GBB530NSCFE is very, very quiet. LG’s own literature claims 39dB of noise output, but we struggled to measure sounds that high at any point during the test.
When the compressor is running we measured around 37dB (A-weighted to best replicate the sensitivity of human hearing) and when the compressor is in a resting phase the machine is near silent. A perfect result and you could not wish for a quieter fridge freezer.
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The LG’s very tall refrigerator compartment, crisper drawer and ‘0’ Zone drawer offer a variety of temperatures throughout the compartment. We set the main refrigerator to 4 degrees and the ‘0’ Zone to 1 degrees, which proved pretty much spot on.
Throughout the test the top shelf remained at 4.5 degrees and the middle shelf 3.5 degrees both varying by just /- 0.5 degrees throughout, which is very stable indeed. The Moist Balance Crisper drawer remained even more stable, keeping at around at 2.5 degrees throughout the test with only long door and drawer openings causing short spikes.
Similarly the ‘0’ Zone drawer put in a stable set of results at a fairly constant 0.5 degrees. The only slight issue here was a dip down to -2 when the compressor cycle starts, which could possibly cause frost issues on very delicate fruit. However, overall this LG turns in a very solid and stable set of results with good range of temperatures for various foods across the usable space.
In the freezer all three drawers averaged a rather nippy -22 degrees (set to -20), proving the effectiveness of LG’s multi air flow cooling system. Only the top drawer showed any significant air temperature rise through the compressor’s off-cycle. While the bottom two drawers remained comfortably below -20 throughout, the top draw tended to creep up to around -16/-17 before the compressor came back on-line to take it quickly back down to -22.
This rise would be reduced with a fuller freezer load than our 9kg total for this test, so in day-to-day terms the freezer is remarkably consistent. The three-hour fail test did take its toll on the upper freezer drawer, rising to -6 degrees, while the lower two drawers were still pretty deep frozen at -16 degrees. That variance makes it a little tricky to estimate the food safety time, but running on worst case/top shelf scenario that would give around a 16-hour safety limit before food on the top shelf began to defrost. Again, a very respectable result.
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Not very much at all. Clearly the LG didn’t get its A European energy rating by chance because we calculate that it would use around just 237KWh per year in average UK household use, which at current cost of electricity equates to less than 9p per day.
For this amount of storage and with the ability to fit neatly into a standard 60cm wide gap in your kitchen, that is a winning combination. You can see the full set of results on the LG GBB530NSCFE specs page.
It’s a very proficient and efficient fridge freezer, but the LG GBB530NSCFE is not our first choice in this category. Though it performs exceedingly well and is nicely designed, its storage space is smaller than competing models. The Samsung RL60GZEIH, for example, is another two-metre tall fridge freezer but offers 32 litres more fridge space and 21 litres more freezer space. The LG uses less power, but the difference only amounts to around £10 per year.
If you’re not too fussed about extra storage capacity, meanwhile, we’d recommend the Haier A2FE635CFJ. The Haier offers similar storage space but is 10cm shorter – so it’s easier to access the upper reaches – and is £100 cheaper at current prices. We also love the Haier’s clever freezer drawers – which don’t have an outer door covering them – and the stylish design.
A superbly efficient and nicely designed fridge freezer, but rivals offer more space at the same price or less.